Allotment Journal: Plot update

It’s been a week of mixed weather consequently we’ve not managed to go to the allotment that much this week. However, saying that, we have achieved a fair bit.

With the weather rather unsettled I decided to play hooky and head to London to go to one of my favourite restaurants, Morito. I left London just over three years ago and sadly there really isn’t anything close to this type of food in Hastings. Morito serve the most delicious tapas, their style is North Africa meets Spain with a little Middle East thrown in. The restaurant, along with Moro, is owned by the culinary geniuses, husband and wife, Sam and Sam Clark.

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Menu
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My trip didn’t disappoint. We worked our way through the menu over the course of 3 hours…..totally inspired by their menu I’m planning to use some of the produce from the allotment to create some of their dishes such as

Beetroot Borani, served with feta, walnuts and dill

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Potato and Courgette Tortilla

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Turkish Sour Plums and salt

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Anyway, I digress. After a lovely lunch I returned to the allotment and got stuck in, there is much to do. Last week we came up with a draft plan for plot two, which involves the removal of two huge couch weed and bindwind mounds not to mention a bath, bags of couch weed and bindweed roots, and old bits of rotting timber. We plan to construct some proper compost bins and a shed. Before any of this can be sone we need to clear the site and move the current compost area.

This is what the back of the plot looked like on the left hand side. It doesn’t really show the full horror of the work to be undertaken.

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The bath has posed a problem ever since we dug it out. It is far too long to go in the back of my Mini. I’m not sure why we’ve never thought about this before, but someone suggested we break it up…. Genius! After all it’s only made from fibreglass and it already has some broken bits…. so I set to work. There was a bit of a tussle but after about ten minutes it was in pieces, sufficiently small enough to go in the back of the car. I loaded it up along with the all the other and took it to the tip.

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So with the area cleared of rubbish I could start to dig out one of the mounds. These mounds were created just over a year ago, we cleared the plot by removing the top layer, so essentially sections of turf and weeds. In those days we didn’t really understand what couch weed and bindweed was so we just piled everything on the mound. ROOKIE error! It took the best part of five hours. I painstakingly removed all bindweed and couch roots, placing them in a bag for the tip. The weed free soil placed in another pile and any foliage from the surface of the mound on a new compost heap. So one down and one HUGE mound to go.

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We spent some time on plot one over the weekend. We sowed more beetroot seeds and some Mikado Spinach, this is an oriental leaf.

The beetroots have suddenly started to grow really well, obviously enjoying the warmer weather and plentiful supply of rain

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Grass is growing at a rate of knots and weeds are literally popping up everywhere. So the plot was strimmed and weeds removed.

Oh and I know this is getting rather dull, but I like to plant things in odd numbers. I found another Angelica. It’s going to make an impressive hedge! And plenty of stems to candy…

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It’s almost time to plant out the 64 Swift sweetcorn plants I have sown, grown and nurtured at home. I also have grown 5 courgette dwarf Bush form Verde Di Milano, also ready to be planted out. They have been hardening off on my balcony. So it’s time to get the vegetable beds ready. I share the three plots with Sal, who LOVES straight lines. I have to say she did a rather marvellous job on this vegetable bed.

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The strawberries are beginning to ripen; this is our first strawberry of the year!

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On the orchard plot we didn’t do much this week. I earthed up the potatoes once more. The heavy rainfall is just what they needed and will help swell their tubers. The compost we are using helps retain moisture and warmth, as you can see they are going bonkers!

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The pears and plums are still on the trees and the fruit is filling out………..

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But only time will tell, ‘June Drop’ is just around the corner. So we will see how well the trees are this year. Hoping they have moved from being on the ‘critical’  list to at least stable.

So next week there will be more mound removal, it certainly saves on a gym membership!

 

Posted in Allotment Journal

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